Stories about: Mental Health

Study: Children with upper limb differences have better emotional health

Upper limb differences ans psychosocial health

Children born with upper limb differences face unique challenges in life. Conditions can range from failure of fingers to separate to complete or partial absence of a limb, which may make it difficult to perform certain tasks as easily as their peers. Often, parents of children with limb differences worry about how these physical challenges will affect the emotional development of their child. However, recent research from Boston Children’s Hospital has found that children with congenital hand differences have excellent emotional health.

A recent study led by Dr. Donald S. Bae, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon in the Hand and Upper Extremity Program at Boston Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Center, found that while children with upper limb differences exhibit decreased upper limb function, some form better peer relationships and have more positive emotional states compared to population norms.

Read Full Story

Coming to terms with my 9-year-old’s eating disorder

Young girl overcomes eating disorder

I didn’t think my 9-year-old daughter was at risk for developing an eating disorder. She was not involved in any of the known “risk” sports like gymnastics, dance or ice skating. She wasn’t a child preoccupied with looks or thinness. In fact, she is kind of a tomboy, preferring sweats and t-shirts. And she did not consume a lot of pop culture.

But what I learned during our Family-Based Treatment (FBT) sessions with Dr. Melissa Freizinger at Boston Children’s Hospital, is that children who develop eating disorders often have an underlying (and possibly undiagnosed) mental health issue — commonly anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Read Full Story

Mindfulness for busy parents who don’t have time

Mindfulness tips for parents

I know the last thing you need is another item on your to-do list.

If you’re a parent — especially a parent of a child with a medical condition — your time, energy and resources are already spread precariously thin. You’re exhausted. You’re worried. And you have no idea what’s coming next.

It’s hard enough to show up for life’s daily challenges without the added task of trying to learn mindfulness.

But here’s the thing about mindfulness: It holds space for you to feel that exhaustion; that worry and that uncertainty.

Read Full Story

Please don’t judge: Supporting a friend whose child has a mental health condition

Larson family holding hands and jumping
Shannon Larson and her family (photo courtesy of Jennifer Shore Photography)

When my children were younger, I was always able to help them maneuver the difficulties of growing up. If it was their fear of going to school, attending playdates or being hesitant of trying a new activity, I was there to cheer them on, nudge when needed and assure them that everything would be okay.

But as both of my children entered their teenage years, their anxiety and fears became more pronounced and debilitating, manifesting in panic attacks and depression. As a parent, I understood that my children would need more than just my reassuring words, which eventually led me to Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry for their care. Over time, my children began to thrive once again. And in the meantime, our family learned a few lessons along the way that I would like to share.

Read Full Story